Guyana National Shipping Corporation urged to focus on modernisation

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Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill during a tour of the Guyana National Shipping Corporation

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill told nine newly installed Board of Directors of the Guyana National Shipping Corporation (GNSC) to focus on profitability and modernisation.

The Minister made this statement while installing the new Board on Monday.

“Guyana National Shipping Corporation must not be subsidising anybody in the private sector […] by giving them meagre rents. They are charging competitive rates for the services that they are giving. In that way they are making larger profits because we are doing business as a Government entity and had they gone to a private sector man to rent the same space, they would have had to pay a better price,” Minister Edghill said.

The Minister then charged the Board to find innovative ways to boost the company’s profitability.

“We cannot accomplish and get to our next destination if we maintain the business as usual mode […] When Cabinet chose this group, we were putting in place a group of people who came to this Corporation with innovative thinking,” Minister Edghill said.

He added, “We’d like to see decisions that see the modernisation of our Corporation even if it means making shifts as it relates to how we presently operate.”

Minister Edghill expects that, in keeping with its new charge, the Board will move forward in seeking other stakeholders besides the State, to make the company more profitable.

“This enterprise must be commercially viable. It must pay its own way. It must pay its own staff. It must be able to generate its own capital for its modernisation and development,” he told the Board.

The Minister also reminded them about the entity’s Articles of Incorporation, which gives it authority to engage with other parties. He suggested that the GNSC considers decentralising the location of its head office as the current location on the shipping block takes way some prime space that could be used for storage.

Minister Edghill said modernisation is especially important with the emerging petroleum sector.

“These facilities are some of the most sought-after facilities in the country right now. Once you’re near the water with sheds and storage, everybody in the oil and gas industry will be seeking out partnerships and engagements,” the Public Works Minister said.

The Board is chaired by Attorney-at-law, Mr. Euclin Gomes. The other members are GNSC Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Astwood; engineers Mr. Oswald Chisholm, Mr. Dimitri Alli and Mr. Ramkumar Gopaul; Community activist, Mr. Desmond Morian; Mr. Rajendra Paul and Mr. Miguel Choo-Kang, and Advisor to the Public Works Minister on Maritime Affairs, Ms. Claudette Rogers.